I studied at the London School of Film Technique in 1966 having been inspired by working in a cutting room in my gap year. There I was tutored by Ian Wilson BSC who inspired me with his lectures on cinematography and who I later, in 1981, operated for on ‘ The Flame trees of Thika’ starring Hailey Mills. My first big film break was operating for Norman Langley BSC on “Oliver Twist” staring George C Scott.
After which with my dear friend and mentor Peter Jessop BSC I operated on some six films, mainly horror, the majority directed by Peter Walker but also ‘The Monster Club’ starring Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee directed by Roy Ward Baker.
I became a DOP in 1976 and completed three films for the director Stanley Long, ‘The Adventures of… series’. Low budget but great fun and I was learning a lot while still in my twenties.
With the arrival of MTV in the early 80s, I started filming music videos for both Limelight Productions and Medialab. Over the next decade I filmed over 200 acts including
Madonna, Prince, Dire Straits, Queen, The Police. Elton John and Peter Gabriel. I received a AVA nomination in America for Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ and a IMV award for UltraVox”s “Love’s great Adventure” in the UK. In 1995 I was awarded the Cable Ace Award for Best Photography on a long form film for “Peter Gabriel’s Secret World’. A particular highlight was photographing ‘Sign of the times’ for Prince in 1988 a long form cinema film shot in Europe and USA.
Another memorable occasion was as lighting Designer on “Pavrotti in Hyde Park” in 1991. With a celebrity audience including Prince Charles and Princess Diana a security alert was triggered hence the arrival of the bomb squad with sniffer dogs to uncover a rigger’s sandwiches under the stage. By now the glorious summer weather had turned into the greatest summer rainstorm which flooded the lighting racks under the stage and we were about to go live to 27 countries- a night to remember.
In the 90s I returned to drama and photographed over 20 TV drama series as well as feature films. With the director Colin Bucksey I filmed ‘Dealers’ starring Paul Megan and Rebecca de Mornay in 89, ‘Notorious’ in 91 and ‘September’ with Edward Fox, Jacqueline Bisset and Mariel Hemmingway in 95. Other directors include David Blair who made ‘Donovan Quick’ with Colin Firth in 99 for the BBC, Paul Marcus who directed “Murder Rooms” in 2001 and the feature film “Heidi’ with Max Von Sydow and Geraldine Chaplin in 2005. With Brian Grant, a director from the music era, I photographed ‘Life is Wild’ for CBS, Paramount 2007 , ‘Sinbad’ for Sky Atlantic 2011 and the first series of ‘The Worst Witch’ for the BBC\NETFLIX in 2017.
I became a member in 2012 having been nominated by John de Borman BSC and Peter Jessop BSC with kind support from Joe Dunton MBE BSC.